A staggering 12 tonnes of his creation was served at the Olympic Games, but sponsorship rules meant he couldn’t talk about it – until now.
Today, a West Yorkshire cheesemonger has officially unveiled his ‘Legacy’ cheese, which was enjoyed by athletes, politicians and members of the Royal family at the Olympics.
Richard Holmes, of Cryer & Stott in Castleford, Wakefield, Pontefract and Allerton Bywater, created all the cheeseboards served at corporate dinners at two Olympic venues.
As well as sourcing all the cheese eaten by diners at Eton Dorney and Greenwich Park, he chose the olives, the chutneys, the grapes and even the wood used for the serving blocks.
The 43-year-old, who owns Cryer & Stott with his wife Clare, also created an Olympic cheese called ‘Legacy’ for the VIP guests, which was inspired by the five Olympic rings.
He said: “When an Olympic official asks you to create a bespoke cheeseboard for the Olympics, it was a little bit of a surreal moment.
“I feel sure it must be the same feeling that our Yorkshire gold, silver and bronze medalists got, that stomach churning excitement that you can’t quite believe what’s going on.
“After all, I’m only a cheesemonger from Yorkshire.”
He added: “We decided to create the cheese based on the rings, with either a fruit, a herb or a spice from all five of the competing continents.
“We mixed fruits, herbs and spices into different chutneys and Clare and my children, Samuel and Valentine, were put to the taste test to find the best.
“The final chutney was milled into a traditional English cheddar, which became the ‘Legacy’ product.
“It was just fantastic to be involved – it sounds like a cliche, but it really was a once in a lifetime event, and now we’re hoping we can grow and expand.
“We know that people like Seb Coe ate dinners at the two venues, and William and Kate were there one day, and just to know that these people may have eaten our product is a great feeling.”
Richard was asked to bid for the chance to supply the cheese by an old friend, who was organising catering at the venues.
Medal winners who may have sampled Richard’s Olympic creation include Zara Phillips, who won silver in the team eventing at Greenwich Palace and Ed McKeever, who scooped gold in the 200m kayak sprint at Eton Dorney.
Richard now hopes to supply cheese to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and plans to offer a special ‘cheese’ wedding cake to heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who weds in May.
He is also sending out packages of the ‘Legacy’ cheese to all the Olympic medal winners from Yorkshire.